Another British blockbuster could be on the cards in the near future as promoters Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn have both expressed the desire to set up a unification bout between WBA world bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell and the newly-crowned IBF title holder Paul Butler.
Butler, a former British and Commonwealth super-flyweight champion, claimed the IBF belt after a thrilling contest against Stuart Hall in Newcastle on Saturday night, which was decided by a close split decision.
Two judges scored it 117-111 and 115-113 for the Ellesmere Port fighter, while one gave it to Hall with a score of 115-113.
It was only Butler’s second fight at bantamweight but his manager, Warren, is already looking to set-up a domestic showdown with the WBA champion McDonnell.
"It's a natural fight with added spice, two British world champions at the top of their game,” said Warren on Boxing Scene.
“BoxNation do everything possible to make the best fights happen and the new season will throw up some matches to prove that and this would be a great match to whet the appetite.
“Paul Butler is undoubtedly an outstanding fighter with a huge following that will only get bigger and this is a fight that I am convinced he will win if his performance against Hall is anything to go by.”
According to reports, Warren has put forward a career best pay-day to McDonnell's manager Dennis Hobson, and is said to be awaiting a response.
However, Eddie Hearn has recently claimed that McDonnell is no longer represented by Hobson and so he has not been informed of any offer. Although Hobson himself disputes that, his contract with the fighter has come to an end.
Despite this, Hearn says McDonnell is interested in the unification showdown and the promoter says he is ready to pay Butler £200,000 to take part in the all-British world title fight where both belts will be on the line.
“Jamie McDonnell terminated his contract with Dennis Hobson and there is a dispute with the British Boxing Board of Control,” Hearn told the Liverpool Echo.
“Jamie has boxed his last three fights on my shows and has won a world title again. He no longer deals with or speaks to Dennis Hobson. Frank Warren has made an offer to Dennis Hobson for Jamie McDonnell to fight Paul Butler. We haven’t seen the offer, Jamie hasn't seen the offer.
“If they are interested in the fight then I will make it easy, I will offer Paul Butler £200,000 to fight Jamie McDonnell. If they want to beat that then I am happy for Jamie McDonnell to fight on one of their shows but I'm not interested in games and nor is Jamie McDonnell.
“So if you've got an offer for him, and you don’t want to put it to me, then put it to Jamie McDonnell. But my offer to Paul Butler is £200,000 and if he can earn more than that somewhere else then good luck to him.”
It certainly has the potential to be another classic battle of Britain, providing the communication issues between the two camps are resolved. Both fighters are yet to be stopped and are very capable of inflicting a knockout blow that could light up any crowd.
McDonnell has won 24 of his 27 professional contests (11 KO’s) and the 28-year-old was last in the ring on the undercard of the biggest boxing match in Britain for over four decades – Froch-Groves II – so he knows what the domestic showdowns are all about.
On that night at Wembley stadium the Yorkshire born fighter claimed the vacant WBA belt against Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat with an impressive tenth round knockout.
Butler, on the other hand, remains undefeated with the 25-year-old having won all 16 of his bouts, eight by way of knockout.
It is clear that Hearn is keen on setting up the fight between Butler and McDonnell, as is Warren, but because of the confusion with Hobson there may be some stumbling blocks to hurdle before the next British battle can be arranged.
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